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New iPhone 4 ads change the conversation

Four new iPhone 4 TV spots from Apple dramatically show how the FaceTime feature can alter the way people communicate in everyday situations.

Perhaps Consumer Reports knows what it's talking about. Perhaps, though, actual consumers look at life in a slightly different way. Perhaps they're even prepared to hold their new iPhone 4 in a different way.

Even owners of the older iPhones weren't too keen about how calls seemed to disappear into the sky, never to be heard again. Still, however, they bought.

Now, there's even the notion that left-handed, right-handed, and even ambidextrous people might have trouble using the iPhone 4 to call their friends, loved ones, and legal representatives.

So along come four new iPhone 4 spots that make you think not just about the future of phones, but about the future of conversations.

Here are four situations that would have all been very different if they had been enacted over a normal cell phone. Imagine a grandfather, for example, asking "what does the baby look like?" over the phone, as opposed to being able to see the baby as he speaks.

As technology grasps at ways that it can bring people into some kind of greater proximity, it is hard to resist the notion that FaceTime isn't merely a cool feature, it's the paradigm for all phone conversations in the future.

That might seem obvious to those deeply embedded in the tech world. To many real, normal people, it's something they have only seen in highly average Tom Cruise movies. Yes, it's just Skype on the move. But it seems so very simple and, the way it's presented here, full of feeling.

Now I'm not sure I would like someone for whom I might have vaguely pleasant feelings to tell me that they're pregnant over the phone. These ads, however, which follow on from the launch 2-minute film shot by Sam Mendes, take the pure simplicity of conversations and allow them take on a completely different hue.

For some, they might encourage the notion that it really isn't so bad to be apart from those they care about. For others, they might open a slightly new perspective on being able to take their most important people with them, as they travel through the murky craze of life. Still others might hate the thought that might have to look at someone as they talk to them. And I am absolutely not referring to anyone with an engineering degree here.

But surely no one will remain entirely neutral about the change that these ads inspire. Can one simple, dramatic and very human feature make you forget about antenna problems or even how you hold your phone? How are those iPhone 4 sales coming along?